Killing animals for recreation? A quantitative study of hunters’ motives and their perceived moral relevance

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Hunters in the Western world today do not need to hunt to obtain food and other animal products. So why do they hunt? This paper examines the motives of hunters, the motives ascribed to hunters by members of the general public, and the role motives play for the moral acceptability of hunting among members of the general public. It draws on a nationally representative survey of the general public (n = 1,001) and hunters (n = 1,130) in Denmark. People with a negative attitude to hunting are more likely to take motives into account when they consider the acceptability of hunting. Three clusters of motives defining distinctive hunting motivational orientations were identified: action/harvest, management/care, and natural and social encounters. The general public ascribed action/harvest motives to hunters more than hunters did. In a policy perspective, if hunters’ motives are misperceived, improved dialog may be needed to protect the legitimacy of recreational hunting.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)489-502
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 185842953